744 Skaters 5-9-24

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outwordmagazine.com No. 744 • May 9, 2024 www.outwordmagazine.com free page 14 Downtown Sacramento is on a Roll! On Mental Health Awareness Month page 4 Kesha to Headline WeHo Pride page 12 Out & About page 17 New Music From Sia & Dua page 20

Outword Staff


Fred Palmer


Julie Ebe


Ron Tackitt


Julie Ebe

Ron Tackitt




Chris Narloch


Fred Palmer


Chris Allan Matthew Burlingame

Diana Kienle

Chris Narloch

Lauren Pulido

Judy Saint

Ron Tackitt


Chris Allan

Ron Tackitt

ON THE COVER Downtown Sac is on a Roll! ADVERTISING

Sacramento and Northern California (916) 329-9280

Fred Palmer

Outword’s 2024 Pride Issues

Mental Health Awareness Month: Instilling Hope and Resilience to Empower Our Community

This May marks a crucial opportunity to acknowledge the profound impact of mental health on society. Mental health is diverse and complex, affected by various stressors that shape our individual experiences and reverberate throughout our communities, workplaces, and families. Despite significant strides in understanding and destigmatizing mental health issues, challenges persist and cast shadows over diverse communities.

In 2021, 15.8% of Sacramento County residents stated that their mental health was not good for 14 or more days in the past month. Nationally, roughly one in every five adults and children will experience a diagnosable mental health issue during their lifetime, and while education, support and treatment are available, two-thirds of the population does not seek help. Inadequate healthcare access and costs can further deter people from addressing their mental health.

LGBTQ+ individuals are nearly three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. This disturbing fact exists partly because LGBTQ communi-ties face ongoing discrimination and prejudice, not only for their sexual orientation or gender identity, but as a diverse community, many individuals also face racism and prejudice for their eth-nicity and culture as well.

“As a gay Asian man living with depression, I struggled for many years trying to find out who I am and where I belong,” said Patrick Ma, a member of the Stop Stigma Sacramento Speakers Bureau. “If you are struggling, it’s ok to reach out and ask for help. There are plenty of resources available.”

Mental Health Awareness Month reminds

us that mental and physical wellbeing should not just be prioritized in May, but all year long. It also offers an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the strength, hope and resilience that exists in Sacramento communities.

It’s critical to prioritize mental and physical wellbeing for ourselves, as well as our colleagues, friends and loved ones who may be struggling in silence. By simply starting a conversation and providing words of encouragement, you can make a difference for someone at work, home, in your community. Sending a thoughtful text, making a phone call, or setting up a video chat could also make all the difference. Mental illness is treatable, and recovery is possible when education, family, peer and community supports are available and

McKinley Park Community Yard Sale

Aviator’s Executive Airport

Locomotive No. 402

Carmazzi Caramel Corn

Hmong American Day Celebration

Bobbie Singh-Allen

Sacramento Ballet

Dianne Poinski

It’s All About Kindness

The Dodo

Joyce Mitchell

Haggin Museum

Flatland Brewing Company

For more information on how Stigma Sacramento helps support mental health and build under-standing, please visit StopStigmaSacramento.org or search “Stop Stigma Sacramento” on Facebook and Twitter.

To find other ways to improve mental health and help reduce stigma in your community, check out online resources from Take Action for Mental Health, National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health America.

Stop Stigma Sacramento is part of the “Mental illness: It’s not always what you think,” project funded by the Division of Behavioral Health Services through voterapproved Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

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Nat. Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Nat. Gay & Lesbian Journalist Association Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce California News Publishers Association ISSN # 1084-7618 United States Library of Congress To email Fred - Scan QR code!
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The List

Texans Speak Out Against Paxton’s Lawsuit, Abbott’s Order

Texas Governor & AG moved to undercut new federal civil rights protections for students, so Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, announced that he is suing the Department of Education over updates to the Title IX regulations. Title IX is a federal civil rights law designed to protect students in public schools from discrimination. Updates from the Department of Education follow Supreme Court precedent about how to interpret language in civil rights legislation. The updates now explicitly include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. our neighbors.

Shortly after news of the Attorney General’s suit broke, the Texas Governor weighed in, instructing the Texas Education Agency to ignore the updated Title IX regulations.

“Paxton literally wants to delete whole groups of people from the minimum federal non-discrimination protections. Texans know better than most that this country truly is a melting pot. Every day we come into contact with people who live, work, and pray differently than we do. Civil rights laws create a baseline of respect for our fellow Texans that allows us to peacefully exist with

“Paxton and Abbot want to ignore and undermine federal protections designed to safeguard students and families, including LGBTQIA+ students, survivors of sexual assault, and pregnant students. These kids deserve safe spaces and support”

Statement from Carisa Lopez, Deputy Direct, Texas Freedom Network:

“Gov. Abbott’s order undermines protections for LGBTQIA+ students and uses our public schools as a political battleground. Title IX is intended to prevent discrimination and ensure all students have equal access to education regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

“It’s a shame to all Texans to see our attorney general sue the Biden administration for expanded protections under Title IX. Paxton claims he is suing to ‘protect women,’ yet he has actively worked to strip women of their reproductive freedoms and right to make personal medical decisions about their own bodies. Paxton’s hypocritical actions demonstrate his disregard for women’s equality and autonomy. True advocacy for women’s rights means defending their access to healthcare, not using Title IX as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ students.”

Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. For more information visit: equalitytexas.org

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Little Activisms

by Judy Saint Can You Help Address Postcards?

This Little Activism is easy. Your pen and your kitchen table. That’s all you need. You can invite others and make it a party, or just do a few yourself throughout the day! Even if you passed up all the other suggestions from previous Little Activisms columns, try this one. The idea is for people to find a handwritten postcard in their mail, with their name on it, and a short reminder of why they should vote. The personal touch has been shown to work. Personal encouragement changes behavior.

Not only that, but it’s been shown that getting a person to vote once increases the odds that they will vote again. Your help keeps on giving.

“But I’m not an activist.” Yes, you are. Every time you complain to your spouse, drive past a store because you know it funds anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, or publicly pick up a copy of Outword Magazine, that’s activism. You matter when you speak up. Everyone is

dropping the finished cards in the mail.

Commit To Democracy


an activist to some degree because everyone has a voice. Or, in this case, a pen. Join this one, won’t you?

Take a look at the groups below who are asking for help addressing postcards to liberal voters. My wife and I have addressed postcards with “Commit To Democracy” mainly, but they’re all great groups.

You can feel comfortable, too. These are all nice people who understand the hesitation of doing something new. Believe me, they have everything you need, and will guide you smoothly from getting the cards through

Everything is provided except stamps. Touchless and person-less blank postcard bundle pickups from front porches. Your list of addresses is emailed to you. Friendly people. You can even form your own hub if you want to take the next step!

Postcards to Voters


“Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast.” (from their website) This is the group Greta Christina says she typically uses.

Activate America


“Reach out to voters to support Democrats and defeat Republican extremists in Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.” (from their website)

Postcards to Swing States


“Help write postcards to voters in 11 key states! We’ll mail you free postcards, voter lists and instructions with proven message options. You’ll provide the stamps and mail the postcards to voters in October.” (from their website)

Reclaim Our Vote/Center for Common Ground


“We are writing to Black voters and other voters of color in Georgia and Virginia for their Congressional primary elections.” (from their website) The postcard mailing for the important Virginia primary ends June 3. Jump right in!

You can put a handwritten note in a voter’s hands. Well done, readers. Well done. Little Activisms encourages readers to consider small changes we can make to help social causes, and to feel good about ourselves for taking small risks. Judy Saint is President of the Greater Sacramento Chapter of Freedom From Religion Foundation and author of The Pleasant Atheist Adult Coloring Book available on Amazon. She and her wife live in Roseville, CA.

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83% of Employees Support the “Right to Disconnect” Bill

California recently introduced a “Right to Disconnect” bill that, if passed, would make it the first state to legally protect employees from after-hours messages from work.

Assembly Bill 2751, introduced by Assemblyman Matt Haney (D-San Francisco), would create a “right-to-disconnect” law that guarantees workers uninterrupted personal and family time, free from calls or messages after work hours.

With the introduction of the “Right to Disconnect,” we surveyed employees and business executives to understand their perspectives on the topic. Some findings include:

83% of employees support the “Right to Disconnect” bill

Business executives are 75% more likely to oppose the “Right to Disconnect” bill

Nearly 3 in 5 employees feel obligated to respond to work-related communications outside of work hours

On average, 2 in 5 employees make themselves available to respond to work-related communications for 9 or more hours per workday

1 in 3 business executives expect their employees to respond to work-related communications outside of work hours

You can check out the full study from Clarify Capital at this link: https://clarifycapital.com/right-to-disconnect-workplace-sentiments

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“Unswerving: A Novel” by Barbara Ridley

t happened in a heartbeat. A split-second, a half a breath, that’s all it took. It was so quick, so sharp-edged that you can almost draw a line between before and after, between then and now. Will anything ever be the same again? Perhaps, but maybe not. As in the new book “Unswerving” by Barbara Ridley, things change, and so might you.

She could remember lines, hypnotizing yellow ones spaced on a road, and her partner, Les, asleep in the seat beside her. It was all so hazy. Everything Tave Greenwich could recall before she woke up in a hospital bed felt like a dream.

It was as though she’d lost a month of her life.

“Life,” if you even wanted to call it that – which she didn’t. Tave’s hands resembled claws bent at the wrist. Before the accident, she was a talented softball catcher but now she could barely get her arms to raise above her shoulders. She could hear her stomach gurgle, but she couldn’t feel it. Paralyzed from the chest down, Tave had to have help with even the most basic care.

She was told that she could learn some skills again, if she worked hard. She was told that she’d leave rehab some day soon. What nobody told her was how Les, Leslie, her partner, girlfriend, love, was doing after the accident.

Physical therapist Beth Farringdon was reminded time and again not to get overinvolved with her patients, but she saw something in Tave that she couldn’t ignore. Beth was on the board of directors of a group that sponsored sporting events for disabled athletes, she knew people who could serve as role models for Tave, and she knew that all this could ease Tave’s adjustment into her new life. It was probably not entirely in her job description, but Beth couldn’t stop thinking of ways to help Tave who, at twenty-three, was practically a baby.

She could, for instance, take Tave on outings or help find Les – even though it made Beth’s own girlfriend, Katy, jealous...

So, here’s a little something to know before you start reading “Unswerving”: author Barbara Ridley is a former nurse-practitioner who used to care for patients with spinal cord injuries. That should give readers a comfortable sense of satisfaction, knowing that her experiences give this novel an authenticism that feels right and rings true, no faking.

But that’s not the only appeal of this book: while there are a few minor things that might have readers shaking their heads (HIPAA, anyone?), Ridley’s characters are mostly lifelike and mostly likable. Even the nasties are well-done and the mysterious character that’s there-not-there boosts the appeal. Put everyone together, twist a little bit to the left, give them some plotlines that can’t ruined by early guessing, and you’ve got a quick-read novel that you can enjoy and feel good about sharing.

And share you will because this is a book that may also open a few eyes and make readers think. Start “Unswerving” and you’ll (heart) it.

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‘Camp’ Camp Expands

‘Camp’ Camp, America’s leading summer camp tailored specifically for LGBTQ+ adults, is set to inaugurate its 26th season at a new and enhanced location in central Maine from August 11-18. This move, from its original site in southwestern Maine to a spot nestled between Augusta and Bangor, promises to retain the community-centric ethos while offering an expanded array of activities, improved accommodations, and the capacity to welcome a larger global community of campers.

Originally founded in 1997, ‘Camp’ Camp was conceptualized as a healthier, more engaging alternative to the typical LGBTQ+ social venues which often centered around alcohol and casual encounters. It was designed to provide a week-long retreat that not only entertains but also fos-ters genuine connections and community building among queer individuals of varying ages, gender identities, and sexual orientations. Over the years, the camp has become a cherished getaway for many, combining the nostalgic appeal of traditional sleep-away camps with the unique needs and interests of the LGBTQ+ community.

The camp’s all-inclusive approach extends beyond just comprehensive pricing. It encompasses a diverse program of over 30 daily activities ranging from sports like canoeing and pickleball to creative pursuits such as stained glass making and figure drawing. Unique offerings tailored for LGBTQ+ adults include Broadway Dance and LGBTQ History workshops, enhancing both recreational and educational experiences. The schedule spans from early morning at 7:00 AM until past midnight, allowing campers to immerse themselves in everything from nature hikes to social events like the traditional Talent/No Talent Show and a lively Barn Dance.

Accommodations are provided in air conditioned communal cabins, with options for private or semi-private cabins available for an additional fee. The weekly rate of $1975 includes all lodging, restaurant-quality meals, and transportation to and from Portland or Augusta, Maine, making it a valuable package considering the breadth of activities and amenities provided.

Longtime campers like Jenn Long from Yonkers, New York, emphasize the value found not just in the tangible offerings of the camp, but in the intangible rewards of community and friendship. Many return year after year, drawn by the warm, inclusive atmosphere and the opportunity to reconnect with friends who have become like family. Newcomers too quickly find themselves integrated into the camp culture. Outreach Manager Kat Torres Radisic, who joined the camp community last year, remarks on the immediate sense of belonging and support that the camp fosters, which is particularly affirming for younger or first time participants.

With its relocation, ‘Camp’ Camp is set to offer even more engaging experiences, including new activities like tubing, horseback riding, and archery. Associate Director Michelle Rediker notes that the new site not only provides more comfortable lodging but also introduces fresh opportunities for fun and exploration, all while maintaining the camp’s core ethos of providing a safe, welcoming environment that encourages everyone to be themselves and try new things.

As ‘Camp’ Camp prepares for its upcoming season, spaces remain available for both campers and staff, promising new and returning participants alike a uniquely rewarding summer experience. http://www.campcamp.com

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2024 Pride Issues

Kesha to Headline WeHo Pride P

op superstar Kesha is set to headline the vibrant West Hollywood Outloud Pride event this year, adding her unique blend of irreverent pop and emotional depth to the festivities. Known for her anthemic hits and an unapologetic style, Kesha’s involvement is a perfect match for the spirit of the event, which celebrates the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.

West Hollywood Outloud Pride, commonly referred to as WeHo Pride, is an annual event that takes place in one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ neighborhoods in the United States. The event is a colorful celebration of love, acceptance, and freedom of expression. It includes a series of activities such as parades, live music performances, DJ sets, and community events that showcase the strength and vibrancy of the LGBTQ+ community.

Kesha’s headlining act at the West Hollywood Outloud Pride is particularly significant given her history of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and her personal connection to the community. Her music, often centered around themes of freedom, individuality, and overcoming adversity, resonates deeply with many in the LGBTQ+ community. Songs like “We R Who We R” and “Rainbow” have become anthems for self-acceptance and courage, making her performance a highly anticipated highlight of the festival.

The event not only features performances from major artists like Kesha but also includes speeches from activists, community leaders, and public figures who play pivotal roles in advancing LGBTQ+ rights. West Hollywood Outloud Pride serves as a platform to raise awareness about the ongoing struggles the community faces and the progress being made. It’s a space where participants can learn about LGBTQ+ history and culture, engage with various organizations, and support local LGBTQ+ businesses.

Moreover, the festival is an opportunity for people of all ages, orientations, and backgrounds to come together in a show of solidarity and celebration. It emphasizes the importance of unity and support within the community and beyond, promoting a message of inclusivity and equality.

Kesha’s performance at the West Hollywood Outloud Pride is expected to not only draw large crowds but also highlight the joyful defiance and celebratory spirit of the event. As attendees dance and sing along with her, they will be part of an empowering experience that honors their identities and fosters a sense of community and belonging.

Overall, the West Hollywood Outloud Pride event, headlined by Kesha, is more than just a festival; it’s a vibrant declaration of pride and a powerful reminder of the joy and strength found in diversity. www.wehopride.com

12 outwordmagazine.com May 9, 202 - May 30, 2024 • No. 744 Outword Magazine
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Kesha to Headline WeHo Pride

Outword’s 2024 Pride Issues

Love Is in The Air at The Movies

Spring has sprung at local cinemas (and online), with at least four new films to watch that prove the old Shakespeare adage that “the course of true love never did run smooth.”

The Fall Guy

For a mainstream, big screen blockbuster, this new action comedy with Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt as old flames who bicker and then fall in love again is much better than I expected. “The Fall Guy” is also one of the finest (fictional) cinematic tributes to stunt men ever made.

Gosling plays a sexy stunt guy whose former girlfriend (Blunt, who makes any movie better) is directing his latest project, a goofy sci-fi superhero story that resembles the worst Marvel movie of all time. Gosling and Blunt are terrific together, and the movie is currently in wide theatrical release.

The Idea of You

The sexy British actor Nicholas Galitzine is having a moment (of sudden fame) after starring in “Red, White & Royal Blue” with Uma Thurman, “Mary & George” opposite Julianne Moore, and now “The Idea of You,” costarring Anne Hathaway, who plays a 40-year-old divorcee who falls in love with a much younger man, played by Galitzine.

More of a dramedy than a lightweight rom com, “The Idea of You” is surprisingly sophisticated and very moving, and the two leads have real chemistry. Now streaming on Prime Video.


I was on the fence regarding Zendaya until I saw her dramatic work in “Euphoria” and the “Dune” films. She is all grown up now and has her most adult role yet in this surprisingly sexy and funny love triangle set in the tennis world.

Zendaya is a tennis prodigy turned coach married to another tennis player (Mike Faist) who ends up facing off against his former best friend (Josh O’Connor). Sparks (and tennis balls) fly, since O’Connor’s character is also a former boyfriend of Zendaya’s character.

“Challengers” is a cut above the average rom-com – it’s not dumbed down or predictable – and the three stars all shine. Currently in wide theatrical release.

Coup de Chance

This is Woody Allen’s 50th film as a director, his first French film, and possibly his final movie, if rumors of his retirement are to be believed. If so, it would be a great way to cap off one of the finest filmographies of any director in Hollywood history.

Allen writes and directs but (thankfully) does not star in this edgy love triangle involving a married French woman who reconnects with a former acquaintance from school, and their love affair leads to murder. Allen’s finest film in years, “Coup de Chance” was still playing at Sacramento’s Tower Theatre as we went to press.

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The Fall Guy Challengers The Idea of You Coup de Chance

2024 Pride Issues

Downtown Sacramento Is On A Roll…Debuts Summer Downtown Roller Rink

Starting June 28, the Downtown Roller Rink will transform the underutilized Ali Youssefi Square into a vibrant hub of community activity, offering public roller-skating sessions from June to September 2024. Beyond gliding around, the rink will be a festival of music, dance, family-friendly entertainment, and pop-up experiences, capturing the spirit of Sacramento’s rich history and showcasing its exciting present.

“We’re thrilled to introduce an extended family-friendly activation right in the heart of Downtown Sacramento. Our incredible city deserves such an exciting addition, especially in an area that has often felt neglected. We envision this roller rink becoming a source of pride for our community, bringing us closer together as we embrace all the wonderful activities our city has to offer,”

shared Damian Lynch, Co-owner of HOF. “We can’t wait to welcome thousands of attendees throughout the summer, and our goal is to establish a successful model for this inaugural event, ensuring that the fun continues for many summers to come.”

“Now more than ever, it is important for city centers to invest in their communities,” said Michael Ault, Executive Director of Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

“We’re eager to increase our collaboration with local creators to continue a more people-centered destination downtown, and a summertime outdoor roller rink fits that vision perfectly. Downtown Sacramento Partnership is fortunate to have decades of experience hosting large-scale events and programming, and we’re excited to use those skills to support

and uplift community producers.”

The Downtown Roller Rink offers something for all ages: it provides a safe and fun environment for families to enjoy, engaging activities and entertainment for young adults, vibrant lunchtime and after-work activity for downtown employees, and a unique Sacramento experience for visitors and residents.

The Downtown Roller Rink will be available June 28 – September 17, 2024.


Tuesdays through Thursdays: 2 to 9 p.m.

Fridays through Sundays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission details:

$10 for children 6 and under $20 for regular admission

Admission includes skate rental

14 outwordmagazine.com May 9, 202 - May 30, 2024 • No. 744 Outword Magazine
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Out & About

AOutword’s 2024 Pride Issues

pril showers brought the May flowers and as long-time locals know that brings the insanity of the Sacramento Valley allergy season. Newcomers laugh in disbelief until like a bad horror movie it descends on them as well. But the beauty of the valley, and the foothills, is unmistakable this time of year and here’s some events to help you get out and enjoy the season! Don’t forget to stop by Pucci’s Pharmacy and pick up some allergy medication along the way.

Crocker Art Museum’s ArtMix: Lipstick promises an exhilarating night on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. Delight in live performances, DJ beats, and immersive art experiences. Unleash your creativity amidst festive food and drinks. Located at 216 O St., this monthly extravaganza welcomes ages 18 and above. Let the Crocker redefine your party expectations! Crockerart.org

Make a splash at Liquid Therapy, Outword Magazine’s monthly happy hour event! Join us for an evening of camaraderie, laughter, and libations at Badlands Sacramento, located at 2001 K St., on Friday, May 10, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Whether you’re a regular or a newcomer, come unwind and connect with the community in a lively atmosphere.

Experience a transcendent evening with the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by

- June 9. With music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, and a book by Bob Martin and Don Mckellar, this Tony Award-winning musical is a loving send-up of the Golden Age musical. Watch as a die-hard theater fan’s favorite cast album brings characters to life in this uproarious Broadway hit. Sierrarep.org

Australian recording artist Donny Benét, known for his Alternative/Indie music, will perform at The UC Theatre in Berkeley, 2036 University Ave., on Friday, May 17, at 8 p.m. Enjoy an evening of music in a General Admission Standing Room with Limited Seating. Theuctheatre.org

Harris Center presents “The Cher Show,” a Tony Award-winning musical chronicling six decades of the iconic superstar’s life. Don’t miss this fabulous production from May 9-12,

Marta Gardolińska, and featuring the virtuosic Pablo Ferrández on cello. Taking place on Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center Presents promises an unforgettable journey through Bacewicz’s lively overture, Mendelssohn’s evocative “Scottish” symphony, and Elgar’s introspective cello concerto. Mondaviarts.org

Join Wind Youth Services for the 2024 Spring Soiree at the Del Paso Country Club! On Saturday, May 18 from 4:30 to 7 p.m., enjoy an enchanting Sacramento evening with beverages, appetizers, and live music while supporting Wind’s vital services. Don your Spring Cocktail Casual attire for an evening filled with a raffle, silent auction, and inspiring testimonials. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference! WindYouth. org

Experience the hilarity of “The Drowsy Chaperone” at The East Sonora Theatre, 13891 Mono Way in Sonora, from May 9

Dive into the enchanting world of mermaids at the California Mermaid Convention presented by Mermaid and Mom, & Pixie Tribe, taking place from May 17-19. This three-day extravaganza promises a shellibration of everything mermaid, featuring swim play, costuming, shopping, entertainment, and more. All ages and families are welcome to join this longestrunning mermaid event on the West Coast! Additionally, attendees can participate in meetings, workshops, and lectures led by industry experts to expand their mermaid knowledge and portfolio. Californiamermaidcon.com

Do you have events, birthdays, or announcements to share? Feel free to send them to matthew@hengemedia.com.

For 28 years, we have been Sacramento’s resource for LGBTQ+ information, politics, entertainment and we have helped connect and maintain our community.

Because of the continuing trauma being caused by COVID, many of our advertisers are doing everything they can to stay afloat - that includes Outword Magazine. At the onset of the pandemic we changed our distribution model to an online-only affair. at helped us weather the storm, but we have since returned to both online as well traditional, printed copies. ankfully, the responce we have recieved after returning to print has been fantastic!

However, we are continuing to ask that you, our readers and advertisers help us with a contribution that will be used to keep the presses rolling. is money will assist with publishing costs, both in print and online, and help pay our production staff, staff writers and distribution costs among other things.


With your generous contribution you will be listed on the full page ad running in Outword. (Just think, your name in print!)

If you consider us a valuable and vital resource for our LGBTQ+ community, please send some financial Love.

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A Bonanza of Black Artists

Three not-to-be-missed exhibitions featuring Black artists are currently on display at the Crocker Art Museum. Read on for information about Black art, jewelry, masks and more.

Black Artists in America: From Civil Rights to the Bicentennial

“Black Artists in America” explores African American art from the late 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. During this period, artists created brilliant and powerful works that celebrated racial identity, communicated with Black audiences, and participated in the struggle for equality. On display through May 19, 2024.

Joyce J. Scott: Messages

That jewelry can be at once beautiful and confrontational may seem like a paradox, but Joyce J. Scott makes it so. At once joyful, satirical, and socially critical, each piece in this exhibition is a unique statement about the challenges of everyday life. Continues through June 24, 2024.

Penetrating Expressions: Kifwebe Masks of the Songye and Luba People

Central Africa is showcased in this exhibition featuring powerful, sculptural masks called Kifwebe. More than 30 full-size masks and 15 additional, smaller masks that historically repre-sented a combination of human, animal, and spirit will be on display through August 11, 2024.

For more information about these and other events at Crocker Art Museum, please visit: www.crockerart.org

“Cry It Out” at Cap Stage

by Chris Narloch

Ihad no idea where Molly Smith Metzler’s play “Cry It Out” was going or where it would land, and that made for a very entertaining recent evening at Sacramento’s Capital Stage, where the play is being performed by a first-rate cast through this June 2nd.

The four-person production, with no intermission and a run time under two hours, is a brisk dramedy about a trio of mothers whose approaches to and feelings about motherhood run the gamut from consistent devotion to icy indifference.

Carissa Meagher and Luisa Frasconi costar as next-door neighbors in an affluent Long Island suburb who bond during backyard coffee breaks while their newborns nap inside. (We hear but do not see the babies, who coo or cry occasionally via baby monitors that both women never let out of their sight.)

The first half of the play, which follows the central pair’s new friendship as they laugh and commiserate about their shared stresses and sleeplessness, is very comical and wellperformed. After another new mom shows up, however, the plot kicks in, and “Cry It Out” hits some rough waters.

Rinabeth Apostol and Jason Kuykendall appear, playing a rich-bitch working mom with a nanny and her distraught husband, who fears that his icy wife’s lack of interest in their newborn is a result of severe postpartum depression.

These two supporting characters, although well-played, are not as well-written as the two “nice” moms, and so the last half of the play was (for me) both darker and less enjoyable than the earlier scenes. (The wealthy, mean mom is so self-centered and borderline sociopathic that I wondered why she ever agreed to have a child in the first place.)

Still, I can recommend Cap Stage’s production of “Cry It Out,” for its excellent ensemble and thanks to its sharp and often hilarious depiction of female friendship and the difficulties new moms face.

For more information about Capital Stage, go to https://capstage.org

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Food Beverage and

Wanda Sykes Brings the Funny to Davis

Last time we checked, there were still some tickets left for funny-lady Wanda Sykes’s appearance in late May at the Mondavi Center in Davis.

Wanda Sykes is an Emmy winning stand-up comic, writer, actress and producer who has been entertaining audiences for over twenty years. She has ranked among Entertainment Weekly’s “25 Funniest People in America” and her peers have called her “one of the funniest stand-up comics” in the field.

In 2023, Wanda was nominated for three Primetime Emmys: two for her Netflix special “Wanda Sykes; I’m an Entertainer” (her sixth stand-up special) and another for her role as Gladys Murphy in “Crank Yankers,” a role she originated in 2004. In 2020, she received Emmy nominations for both her role as real-life comic Moms Mabley in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and for her voice work as Gladys Murphy in “Crank Yankers.”

Wanda’s guest-starring role on ABC’s “Black-ish” also brought her two back-to-back Emmy nominations, for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” in 2017 and 2018. Her fifth standup special, “Wanda Sykes: Not Normal,” is streaming on Netflix and was nominated for two 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards: “Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special” and “Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special.” The special also received a Broadcast Critic Award nomination.

Wanda Sykes will appear in Davis on Friday evening, May 31, as part of her 2024 “Please & Thank You Tour.” For more information about this and other Mondavi events, please visit: www.mondaviarts.org

Candlelight Concerts Get Spring Fever

Fever’s Candlelight concert series will bring special Spring shows to Sacramento in May, some of them flooded with colorful artificial flowers and all of them illuminated by a sea of candles.

Evoking the most floral of the seasons, a limited number of performances hosted in the city will feature a spectacular display of blossoms. Candlelight Spring will feature multiple tributes to an eclectic array of artists, including Coldplay and Imagine Dragons (May 16), Queen (May 15), Nirvana (May 28), Adele (May 24), and the ubiquitous Taylor Swift (May 23). The California State Railroad Museum will host the instrumental concerts, featuring either Listeso String Quartet or Range Ensemble String Quartet, and tickets start at $33. To purchase, visit https://feverup.com/en/sacramento

19 outwordmagazine.com May 9, 202 - May 30, 2024 • No. 744 Outword Magazine Food Beverage and More

New Music From Sia & Dua

wo of my favorite dance-pop princesses have new, full-length studio albums, just released. Dua Lipa’s “Radical Optimism” follows the critical and commercial success of “Dance the Night,” her catchy contribution to last summer’s “Barbie” movie soundtrack.

Sia’s “Reasonable Woman” disc, however, comes on the heels of her widely panned directorial debut, a failed movie musical about autism titled “Music.” Who succeeds this time? Sia or Dua? Read on to find out.

Sia – Reasonable Woman

I have been enthralled by the Australian singer-songwriter Sia ever since “Six Feet Under” used her song “Breathe Me” during the brilliant final sequence at the conclusion of that HBO series. The rest of the world found out about Sia’s musical genius after “Chandelier” and those wacky wigs made her a household name in 2014.

Sia has written dozens of hits songs for other artists, but the singer saves many of her finest compositions for her own albums, and “Reasonable Woman” is her tenth release. While it’s not the classic that “1000 Forms of Fear” and “This Is Acting” were, “Reasonable Woman” should make her diehard fans happy.

Two diva duets stand out, one with Chaka Khan (“Immortal Queen”) and the other with Kylie Minogue (“Dance Alone”), although the latter suffers in comparison with Robyn’s lyrically similar smash, “Dancing on my Own.”

Another winning collaboration here is the aptly titled “Incredible,” a hypnotic meeting of the minds between Sia and Labrinth, and she also scores with “I Had a Heart” and “I Forgive You,” two tracks that showcase Sia’s raw, soaring vocals and her piercing lyrics.

Since Sia never met a catchy hook that she didn’t like, there are a couple cuts with choruses that are overly repetitive, especially “I Wanna Be Known.” That dud is more than made up for, however, by the CD’s last two anthemic odes to survival and self-empowerment (“Go On” and “Rock and Balloon”).

“Reasonable Woman” treads familiar ground for Sia, but I never tire of her stylish dancepop and her strong, emotional vocal style.

Dua Lipa – Radical Optimism

Dua Lipa’s first two albums were so successful and terrific that I am not surprised there is a dip in quality this time out. “Radical Optimism” is nowhere near bad, but it is a disappointment given how high of a bar she set for herself after those previous triumphs. On the plus side, “Falling Forever” pulses with dancefloor energy, and “Happy for You” boasts a symphony of synthesizers plus the singer’s lovely high notes. “End of an Era” is a

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Beverage and More continues on page 21

New Music

continued from page 21

bland blastoff to the album, however, and there are just too many tracks on the disc that I would characterize as filler, including “These Walls,” “French Exit,” “Anything for Love,” and “Training Season.”

“Houdini” is a satisfying single, and yet even that tune cannot compare to past Dua Lipa classics such as “New Rules,” “Don’t Start Now,” and “Levitating,” which were cleverly written and perfectly produced.

Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Shatters Global Records, Reinforces Musical Mastery

Taylor Swift’s latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” has broken records worldwide, affirming her status as a powerhouse in the music industry. Released just last month, the album immediately soared to the top of charts in over 100 countries, showcasing Swift’s ability to connect with fans across diverse cultural landscapes.

The album’s lead single, “Whispers in the Gallery,” exemplifies Swift’s matured lyrical prowess and has been pivotal in its success. Critics have praised her for blending introspective songwriting with bold pop sensibilities, a formula that has proven irresistible to listeners. This track alone has set a new record for the most streamed song in a single day on Spotify, a testament to her undiminished appeal.

“The Tortured Poets Department” features collaborations with several acclaimed artists, which have added a rich layer of depth and diversity to the album. These partnerships not only high-light Swift’s versatility but also her ability to seamlessly integrate different musical styles and voices into a cohesive body of work.

Commercially, the album has surpassed previous records set by Swift herself, with first-week sales eclipsing those of her last three albums combined. This commercial success is matched by critical acclaim, with many reviewers calling it her most ambitious and well-executed project to date.

As Taylor Swift continues to evolve as an artist, “The Tortured Poets Department” stands as a milestone in her career, a clear indication that her musical journey is far from over. The album not only entertains but also inspires, solidifying Swift’s place as a true icon in the world of music. (As of this writing the album has broken many more records.)

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